Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Another Homeschooled day

I didn't leave the house today. Not once. I stepped 3 feet out my front door to grab a package from the postman because it was raining, but other than that...I was home all day long. I don't mind. I like being home. We were busy, not bored in the least.
Dominic did go to wrestling today, just I myself....did not leave the house (or Penny or Michael).

Dominic has quite the weekly list of things he has to get done for the week for school. He chooses what he wants to do and when (though I usually dictate the breaks) and then marks them off on the checklist that I give him every monday. Its pretty extensive, I think, and every week I'm so proud of what he is able to finish. This week we had a breakthrough in his writing and reading comprehension skills thanks to a new text we started using. I was so proud of him as it was something that 4 weeks ago he didn't have the skills to do but he's been diligent, even though its his least favorite subject, and he's making great strides. He really is learning by leaps and bounds this year and I know he would be learning if I sent him to school too, but I feel this time with him is so rewarding and beneficial to our whole family that we wouldn't want to do it any other way at this point. He's already told me that next year he wants to home-school again. That makes me feel good. Not only is he learning in this environment, but that he's enjoying it also.
Not bad for a first time home-schooler. I am one proud parent/teacher right now.

So, while this assignment looks kidish and silly, its part of a life science skill about learning that all organisms are classified into different phylums.  He doesn't know that's where we're going with it yet, but this activity will help him understand that when we get there. It will give me a reference to teach him from. Then he proceeded to get out the stretchy cord we have and make me a button necklace. It was actually kind of cute and I'll probably wear it once or twice before we need the buttons back to play with.

He has taken up guitar lessons and I'm very proud at how well he is doing. His teacher wants him to learn using a guitar pick and this has been quite the adjustment for him....he prefers his fingernail....but he's getting it.

When he learned to type earlier this year, he quickly learned that if he could break his old habits of where he thought his fingers should go and where his fingers should actually go on the keyboard.....he could type quite fast. He's pretty quick now....not as fast a typer as I am, but not far behind. He already told me that he knew that it would get easier over time (just like typing) but that for right now, its really hard to use the pick and slows him down and is sometimes frustrated with it and has to play a few songs without the pick. I love that he's thinking that way.  We, of course, did a million other things for school too. I'll have to take pictures of a typical WHOLE day for him. He would probably enjoy seeing that someday.

Keep up the good work Dominic, I tell you all the time but its here in writing too for you to read several years from now too: You are going to do amazing things in this life, and its all happening and being built upon right in front of my eyes. I see it in you. Can you see it in yourself? You are amazing.

Penny has TAKEN OFF in her reading. She finished the hooked on phonics Kindergarten set about 3 weeks ago and I have not been able to keep enough books around from the library for her to read on her own. Its a hard level to get books for. She can read, but she can't read everything.....but once she learns a word, she rarely has to re-learn it. So, I found this awesome template online and immediately printed and laminated it last night knowing exactly how I was going to use it today. So, I took a library book that she hadn't read yet, that had tons of words that she knew, but quite a few that she didn't know also, and put all the unfamiliar words on that back in permanent marker (you can wipe it off later if you go over it with a dry erase marker or with rubbing alcohol). These words are from the book right next to it.

Next, we took each word, one at a time and read it, built it (with bananagram or scrabble tiles) and then had Penny write it with a dry erase marker. She loves this part! We then wipe the board and go to the next word.
Read, build, write.
Its so simple, really. Genious who thought of it! I can see how this will really help with spelling too. I wish I had done this with Dominic.

I thought we would get through like 3 or 4 words a day and then come back to it the next day......but she did not want to stop and did the first 5 words in one sitting and brought it back to me later in the afternoon and did another 7 words.

Each time that we did another word, we went over the "old" words we'd already done, reinforcing them in her mind again.

She even mastered how to write an S today.....something that has been hard for her for some reason. =)

After we did a bunch of the words, we read up to that point in the story. It was amazing. She knew all the words we went over without having to avoid them by being silly and distracted. This was her method of letting me know she doesn't know a word ......she stops reading and acts silly. Then we sound out the word and move on. Though sometimes I push her to read a book because she hasn't read one to me in a day....she is usually the one begging to not stop.
*update: She finished the word list in 3 days and then read the book all the way through. She still had to sound out a few words, but rarely was it one of the words we had worked with on the list. This gets an A++ in effectiveness and we'll definitely keep using it.

Michael played close by with his tea set. He loves to pretend to drink out of little cups. Sometimes, if he insists, we actually put real water in them and sit him on a towel. Oh the fun he has!

He then thought he was pretty clever to dump out the Mr. Potato Head's and put his whales and mickey mouse (did I mention he added another stuffed animal to his collection? Yes, its now 2 whales, 2 angry birds AND Mickey Mouse.....and actually at bedtime this evening he begged to have Penny and Dominic's angry birds also so he's in his crib with 2 whales, 4 angry birds and Mickey Mouse. Silly boy.)

He found it funny that he put the lid on them.

He LOVES to get inside of containers. Doesn't matter how small. He has stuffed himself into some pretty small ones though.....the funny part is that he usually asks Daddy to get in with him.

While I started dinner, Penny and Michael colored together. She was cute in that she said, "I'll just share Thomas with him because if I get my color-by-number out he'll just try to color in mine and that will make me sad. He doesn't mind if I color in his with him though."And they colored like this for a good 20 minutes or so. Amazing.

Another thing Penny learned how to do today was blow up a balloon! I wish I could have gotten the reaction on her face with the balloon in her mouth when she finally was able to push air into it. Her eyes were huge with delight!
She then blew it up over and over and over and over and over till finally the last time she blew it up, she asked, "why does it look like its all wet inside?" 
"Hahahahaha.....uh, well, because it is Penny, thats your spit."
"Ewww, gross. I think I'm ready to tie it now."

Eva, seriously, how did I get your child?

One of the many times she let the air out. I love this picture.

The she drew me on the balloon. hahaha....does my nose really look that big?

Then she drew Daddy on another one.

And she wrote a note to him. She asked me how to spell Dear......I love her handwriting.

And of course, with the curls.....she drew herself. I love that she draws eyelashes on herself....she definitely has them.

and a message to herself. So cute.
So we had a busy day at homeschool today. Just the way I like them.

Here's a funny video of Penny at dinner. I showed her this trick and she immediately had to try it.


Dunn Family said...


I love the temple that you use for penny, the one that you read the word, build it and then write. Can you scan it and send me a copy? Thanks Tanya

Lisa said...

I am liking those bananagrams- I think I'm going to have to order some.

Cute video- she really cracks herself up!